Rebecca Minkoff will unveil her first store in Chicago this fall a 1,310-square-foot flagship at 106 East Oak Street. It will be the designer’s fourth U.S. store following a unit in Los Angeles that is under construction and existing stores in SoHo and San Francisco.
The company plans to open two to three stores a year for the next four to five years, but the schedule could be accelerated, said Uri Minkoff, the company’s chief executive officer and brother of the designer.
“We focused on Chicago because, on a wholesale basis, it’s consistently among our top three cities in terms of sales volume,” Minkoff said. “It’s the capital of the Midwest, and there are a lot of universities there.”
The Minkoffs also took notice of a McKinsey & Co. report that listed Chicago among the 25 cities that will be global luxury capitals by 2025.
Rebecca Minkoff’s new flagship will be located in what is considered to be Chicago’s Gold Coast. With luxury retailers such as Hermès, Lanvin, Prada and Loro Piana, Uri Minkoff compared it to Manhattan’s Madison Avenue or SoHo. But Oak Street’s contemporary denizens such as Tory Burch and Kate Spade make the thoroughfare approachable.
Rebecca Minkoff rejected the notion that Chicago is a conservative city when it comes to style. “The Chicago girl is incredibly stylish,” she said. “She’s savvy, she loves to shop and she keeps up with the trends. Like Washington, D.C., and Boston, Chicago is a cultural hub where people care about their careers and also care about their fashion.”
The Chicago unit will have all the eBay-powered high-tech bells and whistles of the Minkoff stores in New York and San Francisco, including an oversize screen that shoppers can use to browse merchandise or request specific items. A touch screen inside fitting rooms allows shoppers to ask for help or request other items. Uri Minkoff said the company is already “asking ourselves what our next technology platform will be.”
The entire Rebecca Minkoff collection will be available at the Chicago flagship, including handbags, ready-to-wear, denim, shoes, jewelry, small leather goods and accessories.